Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our windfall

We received our income tax return last Friday. Now before all my frugal friends and Personal Finance gurus scream, I'll just come out of the closet and say that yes, it was a return and yes, it is a bit of a return. Before y'all scream at us about how we are loaning our government free money and how that is the number one sin in the eyes of PF'ers around the country....just relax. We understand all that. And we've discussed it. And we are keeping things just as they are, thank you very much! We've decided that what is best for us is that we will continue to keep our return the way it is. The interest that could be earned on the money, should we save it, would be relatively minor. We like having a "windfall". We like a little surge in the budget once a year. It is purely psychological and it works for us. So we're keeping it that way. Thank you for your concern.

Now....what we find as the most enjoyable part is the diversion of funds when we get our windfall. This is how we're dividing up our return this year:

-Some to our emergency fund to beef it up a bit.
-Property taxes that are not put into escrow.
-Homeowner's Association dues for 2009.
-Upgrade computer equipment to better accommodate the software for my husband's photography business.
-Pay off a couple of debts.

That is how we are doing it this year. And it feels really good to have some resolution to outstanding debts (the taxes, HOA dues) and a little extra for the computer equipment. We are followers, albeit not religiously, of Dave Ramsey's principles. Have you heard of Dave? He is a fantastic Personal Finance advisor and we use his principles outlined in the Total Money Makeover. Now Dave would really chastise us for loaning the government money and for that, we'll take our licks. We do follow his Baby Steps and think that his overall program is sound. We're on Baby Step 2--eliminating all debt. We've got a bit of all the steps tackled and did before joining him. Now we are trying to refine our budget and work on things in his method. If you haven't checked him out, we'd really encourage you to take a look! Check us out again in the future to be able to hear us scream "We're Debt Free!!"

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